GRAMMAR Italian Verb Conjugation Rules
note: I don't know if this has already been posted anywhere else, but I can't seem to find anything like this in the discussions area. If this is repetitive of information elsewhere, just let me know and I'll remove it. :)
I know duolingo is supposed to a different kind of learning experience, that's more natural immersion and less rote memorization, but personally I find it easier to memorize a few verb conjugation rules and know how to conjugate most regular verbs. For anyone else out there who's like me, I hope this helps! :)
(rules apply to regular verbs in present tense only)
Rules of conjugation: to conjugate an infinitive, take off the infinitive stem (-are, -ere, or -ire) and replace it with the designated conjugated stem (see below.)
For example: (capital letters are stems) mangiARE (to eat) turns into mangiO (I eat)
-ARE Examples: mangiare (to eat), cucinare (to cook), pranzare (to eat lunch), cenare (to eat dinner), incontrare (to meet), passare (to pass), studiare (to study), comprare (to buy), dimostrare (to demonstrate)
Io mangiO (I eat)
tu mangI (you eat)
lui/lei mangiA (he/she eats)
noi mangIAMO (we eat)
voi mangiATE (you all eat)
loro mangiANO (they eat)
note: in the case of mangiare, since the infinitive has an "i" at the end of the stem, for the "tu" and the "noi" forms replace that "i" with the conjugated one. (In other words, you only have 1 "i".) This applies to all verbs with the infinitive stem ending with "i"
-ERE Expamles: scrivere (to write), leggere (to read), cadere (to fall), aggiungere (to add), crescere (to grow), vivere (to live)
io scrivO (I write)
tu scrivI (you write)
lui/lei scrivE (he/she writes)
noi scrivIAMO (we write)
voi scrivETE (you all write)
loro scrivONO (they write)
-IRE Examples: scoprire (to discover), dormire (to sleep), morire (to die)
Example Scoprire-to discover
io scoprO (I discover)
tu scoprI (you discover)
lui/lei scoprE (he/she discovers)
noi scopriamo (we discover)
voi scoprite (you all discover)
loro scoprono (they discover)
The fourth conjugation, which is often seen as a derivative of the third one because the infinitives have the same endings (-ire), you add the suffix -isc at the stem for the io, tu, lui/lei, and loro forms. (before the other original suffix.) The noi and voi forms are the same as regular -ire verb conjugations.
-IRE with -ISC Examples: capire (to know), preferire (to prefer), gioire (to rejoice)
io capISCO (I know)
tu capISCI (you know)
lui/lei capISCE (he/she knows)
noi capIAMO (we know)
voi capITE (you all know)
loro capISCONO (they know)
Irregulars-these verbs follow no particular rule, you just have to memorize them. Below are the two most basic and commonly used irregular verbs, to be and to have.
Io sono (I am)
tu sei (you are)
lui/lei è (he/she is)
noi siamo (we are)
voi siete (you all are)
loro sono (they are)
Io ho (I have)
tu hai (you have)
lui/lei ha (he/she has)
noi abbiamo (we have)
voi avete (you all have)
loro hanno (they have)
Conclusion/general rule of thumb: the io, tu, and noi forms of regular verbs are conjugated the same, while the lui/lei, voi, and loro have slight differences based on the first letter of the infinitive stem.
Hope this helps :)
Grazie! Duolingo would be so much better as a language learning tool if it would include grammar lessons like verb tables. Seeing a verb table makes things much easier for me since that's what I'm familiar with from Spanish classes in High School and College.
One thing you should mention is that, if an -are verb has g, gi, c or ci at the end of the infinitive stem, it keeps that pronunciation (tu mangi vs tu giochi), whereas the -ere and -ire verbs change the pronunciation.
Brilliant mate! I actually asked the other day, for a break downs of the rules. I didn't get the answer I wanted :(. But this was the reply I was wanting :).
I'm totally in the same boat as you, I prefer to memorize my grammar.
Ciao PandaPandaInnit, I believed I answered your question, but I certainly admit that not with so much details as this discussion offers. Anyhow, good luck with conjugations! I agree that getting the grammar under your skin is important... although I found out that Italians will not give you hard time if you just mess up the verb conjugation :-)
This is JUST what I wanted - it clarifies the whole Duolingo course. Thank you.
I created a spreadsheet with the pronouns going across and the verbs underneath which easily shows the pattern they follow. I dont think my example will copy over very well but the idea is there<pre>
I You (s) He/She/YOU We You (pl) They Io Tu Lui/lei/ LEI Noi Voi Loro</pre>
Arrivare arrivo arrivi arriva arriviamo arrivate arrivano
Items like yours have been posted in the past but, after a couple of weeks, they disappear so far down the list of topics that they get lost.
Don't worry about it-- post away (just as you have done). It will undoubtably help out some new user who has the same questions or problems as you did.
Thank you so much, just started learning with my husband and this is exactly what we've been trying to figure out. This is incredibly helpful.
Thank you so much, this is exactly where I have had problems in learning the language.
thanks kitty, that is the clearest explanation I have read and it really clears up a lot of muddle in y mind, Eve
Thanks so much! I love Duolingo, but having the grammar rules laid out like this helps me remember the patters better.
This is exactly the kind of thing that helps me; this was perfect!
Thank you. It is exactly what I wanted. I have been looking for this type of thing for a while now. Thanks.
I've been missing my old Latin text books and trying to take notes but this is very helpful. Thank you!
Wow. Great to have it all in one place like that. Spectacular! Thanks a ton!
When using a verb in a sentence, do we also need to omit the pronoun just the Spanish. In Spanish, I know they when you say "I am" in English, it would be translated as "Estoy" or "Soy" omitting the pronoun "Yo". Does this rule also apply with Italian? Thanks!
I wish I would have seen this two months ago. I would have memorized them before I started, or at the least have some kind of knowledge
of how they work. Thank you I was getting frustrated almost ready to quit.
Well, thank you so much for posting this. This is exactly what i need right now.
Caused me a great deal of frustration yesterday and I gave up. I don't usually give up, so that is saying a lot. I knew there was a pattern. The current 'Basics' made me go round and around without highlighting what I should look out for to help me remember the conjugations. Perhaps using a different colour to show root and the right form of verb with pronouns will aid memory.
You are not aloneby for feeling to give up, but I do not always find a valid suggestion to make when making a remark. Any constructive suggestion is positive, like giving people time enough to repair a typing error. One loses a, enormous amount of time by having to correct one's iown typing error and each tilme being obliged to lose a full days work.
Super confused I thought capire means to understand not to know. Huge difference there. This is very confusing for new linguists.